Fourth of July Flag Shirt

June 13 2022
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  1. Prewash shirt in warm, soapy water. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
  2. Lay fabric out on a flat surface.
  3. Carefully pleat and fold shirt back and forth on a diagonal. Continue until entire shirt is pleated and secure with rubber bands every 2-3”.
  4. Wearing rubber gloves, mix 2 tablespoons of well-shaken Cherry Red All-Purpose liquid dye with two cups of hot tap water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Pour into a squirt bottle. Shake well.
  5. Repeat the same process laid out in step 4 with Royal Blue All-Purpose liquid dye.
  6. Place bound shirt on a baking rack with a tray under it. This keeps the dye from puddling under the fabric.
  7. Apply Royal Blue dye onto the top 4” section of the bound shirt.
  8. Carefully apply 2” section of Cherry Red beneath the Royal Blue.
  9. Leave the next 3” blank, and apply another 2” section of Cherry Red. Repeat until you have alternating red and white stripes.
  10. To set the dye, do the following while the fabric is still tied up:
    1. Apply Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative with a squeeze bottle, which will enhance the colors and reduce bleeding. Mix 2 tablespoons of well-shaken ColorStay Dye Fixative with water and apply liberally to both sides of the fabric.
    2. We strongly recommend using your microwave, as long as the fabric does not have any metal parts on it. After applying ColorStay Dye Fixative, wrap the fabric in plastic wrap and seal the edges. Place the wrapped fabric on a paper towel in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Plastic will puff up, creating a heat chamber that helps bond the dye with the fabric. Once the microwave is done, remove the fabric and open the plastic, letting it cool down.
    3. If a microwave is not available or feasible to use and it is a hot sunny day, lay the wrapped fabric out in the sun for an hour.
  11. Rinse in cold water until rinse water begins to run clear. This is very important to prevent unabsorbed dye from bleeding into any white areas. If possible, rinse with the fabric bundle sitting flat on the baking rack. If it is held vertically, some of the unabsorbed dye could run into white areas as it is rinsed off.
  12. Carefully remove rubber bands with a scissors and unfold the fabric.
  13. Wash in cold water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.


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